The Surprising Sense of Awareness in End-Stage Dementia and What It Means
Even as confusion and memory loss escalate during the advancement of dementia, there’s a fascinating and pleasant reprieve that often occurs. Formerly termed “terminal lucidity,” it is more commonly known as “paradoxical lucidity.” It signifies an unexpected, short-term regaining of clarity and awareness in end-stage dementia to a nearly pre-dementia frame of mind. During this time period, the effects can consist of nonverbal but emotional connections to a more drastic improvement in cognitive functioning.
For loved ones, it’s a special gift to be cherished. It offers an opportunity for meaningful conversations and reminiscing, and also the mutual sharing of feelings and thoughts, if only for a brief period of time. For medical researchers, it means much more.
Dr. … Read More »
Try These Fun Activities for Someone With Alzheimer’s and Vision Problems
Finding meaningful, engaging ways to spend each day for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s can be a challenge. Add in vision impairment, and it might seem overwhelming. Even so, it’s vitally important to ensure every day holds opportunities for purpose and joy – minimizing the level of agitation, frustration, and other difficult emotions and behaviors in dementia. If you’re coming up blank when trying to come up with these kinds of activities for someone with Alzheimer’s and vision problems, we have some suggestions you can try.
COVID-19 Delirium and Dementia: Is There a Link?
Just one of the numerous negative effects from COVID-19 is temporary delirium. As a matter of fact, two separate studies revealed that 55% – 65% of individuals who were severely ill from the virus experienced the acute confusion that is one of the trademarks of delirium – as compared to approximately 33% of those critically ill with other health conditions. And while it may be short-lived, the long-term effects are still being determined, including a possible link between COVID-19 delirium and dementia.
What Can You Do When Family Members Refuse to Help With Senior Care?
If you find yourself handling all of the care responsibilities for an aging parent while your siblings distance themselves from offering help, you’re not alone. In fact, as many as one out of every two family caregivers are taking care of an aging loved one on their own, according to a recent report from AARP. What can you do when family members refuse to help with senior care?
There are several reasons why siblings may shy away from supporting you in the care you’re providing. We’ve compiled the most common, along with what you can do to remedy the situation.
They don’t realize there’s a need for help. It may very well be that from … Read More »
Are You Being Followed? How to Overcome Dementia Shadowing
If you’re the primary caregiver for someone with dementia, you may be quite familiar with the challenges experienced in trying to find a quiet moment or two alone – to use the restroom, take a quick shower, or even simply walk into another room. Seniors with dementia can experience heightened anxiety and fear when a loved one is out of sight – a condition known as shadowing. And the behaviors that result can be extremely difficult to manage: anger, crying, or repeatedly asking where you are, to name a few. If you’re struggling with how to overcome dementia shadowing, our dementia care experts have a few tips for you to try.
What Causes Dementia Shadowing?
It helps to understand the reasoning behind shadowing. You are the person’s safe place, the one who helps them to make sense out of … Read More »
The Alarming Link Between Isolation and Alzheimer’s Progression
In the past several years since COVID-19 became a household term, seniors, who are most vulnerable to severe complications from the virus, became more isolated in order to stay safe. And while we already were aware that there are health risks connected with loneliness and isolation, we’re now beginning to realize another serious concern: how isolation and Alzheimer’s progression are linked.
Since people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia may struggle to understand and follow safety precautions, like wearing face coverings, reporting symptoms, and social distancing, isolation for these individuals became especially critical. But while maintaining these seniors’ physical health was the top priority, it’s also important to pay attention to their emotional wellbeing, which can also be negatively impacted without sufficient … Read More »
Dementia Delusions: How to Respond to False Accusations
Dementia delusions can come seemingly out of thin air: you place your loved one’s favorite chicken salad sandwich in front of her – light on the mayo, no onions – something she typically enjoys. But today, she pushes the plate away and will not take a bite, insisting that you’ve poisoned the food.
Or, you’ve provided your loved one with a meaningful activity that links her to a significant time in her past career, sorting paperwork. Out of the blue, she accuses you of tampering with the documents in order to steal money from her banking account.
How can you respond to dementia delusions or hallucinations without further agitating the person? Try these strategies:
Keep a controlled, soothing, understanding tone. It might be instinctive … Read More »
How to Effectively Handle the Extreme Emotions of Alzheimer’s
Of the many and varied challenging behaviors someone with Alzheimer’s may experience and display, perhaps the most heartbreaking is uncontrollable screaming and/or crying. Seeing a person you love in an inconsolable state of mind, and being completely unsure how to help or to understand what’s causing these extreme emotions of Alzheimer’s, is both painful and frustrating. How can you help a loved one with dementia feel calmer?
To begin with, realize that crying and yelling in dementia can occur as the result of:
Delusions, delirium, or hallucinations
An uncomfortable environment
Or a number of other factors
For the short-term, try these strategies to help:
Stay calm yourself, speaking to the senior in a soft, soothing tone of voice.
Try to uncover what’s causing the outburst. Maintaining a … Read More »
Help for When You Can’t Live Up to Your Aging Parents’ Expectations
In an ideal world, we could manage to perfectly compartmentalize our caregiving duties, staying with a routine that met your aging parents’ expectations, while allowing enough time to take care of our assortment of other responsibilities. But needless to say, life doesn’t follow our desired script, and conflicting needs are frequent when caring for an aging parent. Many older adults resist the need for help, while others may come to depend too heavily on an adult child, leading to unfulfilled expectations and ultimately disappointment for both parties.
Hired Hands Homecare’s aging care professionals provide the following tips to help clarify expectations and communicate successfully:
Focus on empathy. As opposed to pulling away from an older loved one whose expectations seem unrealistic, stop and empathize. Think … Read More »
Make Sure You Have These Legal Documents for Aging Parents in Place
If there’s one thing we learned from the COVID pandemic, it’s to be ready for anything. Although it’s human nature to want to procrastinate, particularly as it relates to the unpleasant topic of future planning and putting together all of the necessary legal documents for aging parents, now is the best time to take stock of your loved ones’ final wishes and make sure all of the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed, before the need arises.
Surprisingly, a number of older adults actually do begin the process of completing a will, trust, durable power of attorney, advance healthcare directive, etc., but for a variety of reasons, they never finalize these important documents. Attorney Carolyn Rosenblatt, author of … Read More »